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Universal Studios Hollywood (USH) Discussion Thread


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I honestly think HP at USH will have even MORE of an impact in drawing people from Disney to USH.

 

Why? Disneyland is mostly a "locals" park. Sure, they have tried in recent years to get people to think it's a "resort", but it's not. Disneyland right now currently has about 800k Annual Passholders. That's down from over a Million about a year or so ago.

 

I can see a lot of the less hard-core AP's abandoning their Disney passes in favor of USH considering the lower prices, and the fact that for a lot of people, USH is just more centrally located.

 

Disneyland was built to be 1/2 way between San Diego and LA, but unlike 1955, much of the population of "LA" has moved more north to Santa Clarita, Palmdale/Lancaster and Ventura Country. USH is just closer for those people than Disneyland.

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^^ Disney is both a locals as well as a destination park. Also consider that not all the AP's strictly reside in the OC/LA area. Many people come from the Bay Area, LV, as well as AZ. They come frequently enough where having an AP makes sense for them.

 

I think Robb is right in saying that Universal is competing against themselves and their own expectations. If anything, their biggest competitors are the other studio tours. Many people go to USH specifically for the movie studio experience, and its the additional attractions that win them over into attending the park.

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Disney is always going to be the tog dog in Orlando, but Harry Potter had to have been a "chink in the armor" so to speak. I would imagine that Universal's huge boost in attendance had to include guests who chose to stay 1 less day at Disney parks to make time for Potter.

 

But that boost definitely won't last forever. I agree with Robb...it will take sustained growth to REALLY make a dent in the Orlando market. The Potter boost won't last forever.

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Disney is always going to be the tog dog in Orlando, but Harry Potter had to have been a "chink in the armor" so to speak. I would imagine that Universal's huge boost in attendance had to include guests who chose to stay 1 less day at Disney parks to make time for Potter.

From what I understand this wasn't the case, really. If anything, people just stayed one day more to do Universal. Even with Harry Potter, I have to imagine that for most people, the difference between $8 per person to stay an extra day at Disney on your "Magic Your Way" ticket is a lot more inviting than about $90 per person for Universal.

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This small bit of information was just posted to the LA Times:

 

The attraction isn't expected to open at Universal's Los Angeles location — right next to its film and television studio in Universal City — until 2015 at the earliest.

 

I just REALLY hope the franchise will still be as strong as it is now in three years without any planned content to be released...

 

Only time will tell.

 

--Robb

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This small bit of information was just posted to the LA Times:

 

The attraction isn't expected to open at Universal's Los Angeles location — right next to its film and television studio in Universal City — until 2015 at the earliest.

 

I just REALLY hope the franchise will still be as strong as it is now in three years without any planned content to be released...

 

Only time will tell.

 

--Robb

Star Wars and Indiana Jones have proven to uphold as time goes on. Harry Potter is just as big a franchise, if not bigger then both of those.

 

It's not like it's a single movie franchise whose success was largely based on the 3D aspect....

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^Exactly. Plus, JK Rowling has come back to say that if she feels the need to add to the story, she won't hold herself back. I don't think that she's going to let the series go. We're going to see more Harry Potter, whether it's in new books or re-releasing all the old movies in 3D (just like Star Wars is doing now) - or both.

 

I think people need to realize that Harry Potter has affected this generation in its lessons and widespread popularity the same way that Star Wars affected the previous generation with its revolutionary special effects. Star Wars is relevant still today, mostly with the older crowd but very much with some of us younger crowd too. And I think it's obvious that Harry Potter is going to go the same way too.

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^^ You don't need to tell me about Star Wars and Indiana Jones as though I've never heard of them. Dude, I LIVED through those franchises.

 

You also have to remember that the Star Wars and Indiana Jones attractions weren't built any many years AFTER the final movies of the initial series were out, and proven for several years to be viable franchises beyond the movies.

 

While I don't doubt that Harry Potter *might* have that staying power, it's yet to be 100% proven, that's all I'm saying.

 

There isn't any "right or wrong" here, it's just speculation. I mean, plenty of attractions were made off worse franchises - The Mummy. Waterworld, etc....

 

But yeah, you don't need to tell me about Star Wars and Indiana Jones. I *think* I've heard of them, thank you very much. Don't be obnoxious.

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^Exactly. Plus, JK Rowling has come back to say that if she feels the need to add to the story, she won't hold herself back.

Translation "When JK Rowling misses the paycheck and pumps out some crappy, sub-standard sequel to cash in on what's left of her franchise." Oh, what do you know, JUST LIKE Star Wars and Indiana Jones!

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Disney is always going to be the tog dog in Orlando, but Harry Potter had to have been a "chink in the armor" so to speak. I would imagine that Universal's huge boost in attendance had to include guests who chose to stay 1 less day at Disney parks to make time for Potter.

From what I understand this wasn't the case, really. If anything, people just stayed one day more to do Universal. Even with Harry Potter, I have to imagine that for most people, the difference between $8 per person to stay an extra day at Disney on your "Magic Your Way" ticket is a lot more inviting than about $90 per person for Universal.

 

That might be true, but I just don't think you can explain such a HUGE jump in attendance at Universal without it having some impact on the amount of time people spend on WDW property. Both positively and negatively. I would imagine that you are correct in saying that there are people who are extending their stay at a WDW hotel for an extra night to go to Universal, but I also have to imagine that there are people who cut a day out of their WDW stay to make sure they can see Harry Potter and keep to their budget. And everything else in-between.

 

But going back to what you said earlier, whatever minor dent WWoHP might have made in WDW's massive footprint will all be for naught if they don't stay committed to improving the resort. All the people who visited WWoHP will need a reason to come back. It's definitely not sustainable on its own like WDW.

 

Regarding the staying power of Harry Potter...there's no question it will be a popular franchise for years to come, but it is probably nearing the peak of its earnings potential. It will always be lucrative, but is probably nearing its peak in terms of $$$...

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^ I agree with that Joey. I don't think HP will ever be "as" popular as it is right now, but it will still remain popular.

 

For those of us that have read the books/seen the movies, there are a LOT of other things that can be discussed in that universe, even things that don't necessarily have to to do with Harry Potter.

 

There were also hints in the books as to the future of Harry after school, and some of those were hinted to in the movies.

 

You can't tell me that in 5-6 years, when the 3 main principal actors are not getting the roles they want, they wouldn't be opposed to reprising their roles.

 

And as "stingy" as JK Rowling has been with everything having to do with the franchise, I don't think we have to worry about it turning into a "Star Wars Prequel" or "Indy Nuke the Fridge" scenario.

 

Heck, Emma Watson already stated in an interview that when they "remake" the series in 30 years she wouldn't mind playing Professor McGonagall.

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I don't think we have to worry about it turning into a "Star Wars Prequel" or "Indy Nuke the Fridge" scenario.

Oh, I can't wait to write the "Told ya so!" post on that one!

Edited by robbalvey
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^I agree. I was just telling a co-worker that there is no way JK Rowling will be able to let go of the franchise. Her creative itch isn't going to go away.

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If there is one thing I've learned from more than 20 years of working with Hollywood, if you're washed up and broke, you'll sell your soul to be washed up and not broke. JK Rowling might be stingy now, but when it's a choice of being able to buy that multi-million dollar mansion, or foreclose it, she'll put out crap to reap the cash...trust me on this.

 

Let us not forget that even the "King of Pop" ended up flat broke and selling his houses at auction. And who would have ever prediected that would happen in 1986?

Edited by robbalvey
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^Exactly. And even if she does stay financially sound...how often have we seen a director/producer/corporate CEO "retire" only to start up another company doing the same exact thing a few years later? When you invest so much creative energy into something, there's no way you just let it go. You're always going to wonder "what if..."

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You also have to remember that the Star Wars and Indiana Jones attractions weren't built any many years AFTER the final movies of the initial series were out, and proven for several years to be viable franchises beyond the movies.

 

Jedi to Star Tours was four years, Last Crusade to DLR Indy was six....so Harrywood Potter actually seems par for the course.

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But yeah, you don't need to tell me about Star Wars and Indiana Jones. I *think* I've heard of them, thank you very much. Don't be obnoxious.

My slightly-snarky last comment at the end was concerning Disney's desperate attempt to grab some/any potential franchise that could compete with Potter.

 

Apologies if I came across as if I thought you were some culturally-ignorant bafoon. In reality, I was just trying to state that Avatar isn't on par (as of yet) with Potter, Star Wars, or Indiana Jones.

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It's officially official!

 

ThemeParkReview: It's official! Hogwarts is coming to Hollywood! Stay tuned for any surprises!

 

Keep your eyes peeled to this forum, our Twitter, and our Facebook for more updates as the press conference begins at 11:00am PST!

 

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Edited by jedimaster1227
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